Advances in medicine and other sciences have helped make the average human life span the longest it has ever been in recorded history. The aging population of the United States presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for healthcare professionals, including medical imaging technologists. Medical imaging plays an important role in the care of geriatric patients. Those elderly patients who have complex symptoms and a high prevalence of disease often require definitive imaging to receive optimal treatment and care. A variety of positioning and imaging challenges can arise with the geriatric patient. Communication challenges and trauma involving geriatric patients can be difficult for medical imaging technologists to manage. In addition, there are ethical dilemmas involved in the care of elderly patients. Such considerations must be taken into account when geriatric patients present themselves for medical imaging examinations. Technologists must be mindful of all these considerations when performing diagnostic examinations on an older adult patient, to ensure proper patient safety while providing high-quality care.
After reading this article, the participant should be able to:
- Recognize the role that medical imaging plays in the care and management of geriatric patients.
- Discuss various positioning and imaging considerations regarding the geriatric patient.
- Identify ethical concerns, including informed consent, elder abuse, and advance directives, that present themselves while caring for and attending to the geriatric patient.
Categories: Ethics, Professional Development/Patient Care Quality